“Young.” “Big spender.” “Passionate.”  Marketers everywhere dream about the day they hear these words used to describe their consumer. Premium brands were recently introduced to such a consumer target: the young, urban male – better known as a “Yummy.” “Yummies” have been talked about in several news articles (example here) and the interest in this target continues to grow.

Yummies piece

According to HSBC “Yummies” are “driven by psychological and social trends whereby consumers prefer to display social status earlier on,” they “get into the act of shopping” and they want “to show off his money via conspicuous consumption.” All this led some to estimate that there will be a “9% increase in luxury brand spending over the next year.” ( Source)

Missing from the conversation has been an estimate of the size of the Yummy market.  We estimate that 36% of men 18-34 years old have these “Yummies” characteristics.  And, we believe these characteristics are shared by a subset of men over 34 years old.  In essence, we think the opportunity for premium brands is larger than anyone has identified.

Who are “Yummies?”

It appears that “Yummies” are a viable target for premium brands. Our data would suggest that these men:

  • 85% are employed (versus 71% of all other men)
  • 61% are working to be wealthy (versus 32% of all other men)
  • 62% are driven by other’s recognition and admiration (versus 36% of all other men)
  • 58% use shopping as a way to feel better (versus 18% of all other men)
  • 57% say have they have a lifestyle that impresses others (versus 31% of all other men)

Critically, these men pay more attention to advertising than the rest of their male counterparts, making any communication missteps especially costly. Choosing the right strategy and communicating it effectively are the only way premium brands are going to attract and retain this target.

Three strategies for attracting these men

  • Embrace competitiveness: They tend to look at life as a zero-sum game and are extremely competitive. Tap into this by demonstrating that your brand is superior to your competitors or support their personal competitive endeavors. Gatorade’s “Is It in You?” campaign did this well. It associated great feats of athletic ability with its brand, challenged the buyers who were questioning whether or not they have the competitive drive necessary to accomplish their goals and intrinsically linked the message to Gatorade.
  • Advocate uniqueness & individuality: These men pride themselves on their individuality. Communicate that your brand and the people that use your brand are free-thinking, unique and uncompromising forces that challenge the status quo. By associating with your brand, they are displaying to the world that they proudly show off their individuality. Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign strongly advocates for this kind of uniqueness and individuality. With lines like “the last time he flirted with danger, danger got clingy” and “he once got a standing ovation from a juror’s box,” Dos Equis’ spokesman embraces his uniqueness and individuality. This strategy is continued on Dos Equis website with weekly, biweekly and monthly challenges all encouraging consumers to complete the challenges to “build your own legend.”
  • Link your image to your brand experience: Less price sensitive than other men, these men spend their money on premium brands. Premium to them is most often linked to the brand’s high price and quality. Show them specific elements of your product that demonstrate your attention to detail and quality. Chipotle’s “Food with Integrity” pledge has embraced this strategic direction. Described as “serving the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, great nutrition and great value,” the strategy promotes a brand experience unlike any other major fast food provider.  Their brand image is evident in their sourcing strategy, products and retail experience.

Premium brands need to pay attention to these men.  They represent an interesting and influential strategic opportunity.  But attracting them requires insights to go beyond mere data and facts, no matter how advanced or sophisticated.

Insights in Marketing (IIM) is a research-based marketing consultancy that helps clients develop the most complete picture of their target audience. Contact us today to learn more!